Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

Anaxyrus americanus has a short, stout body, with a short broad head bearing large parotoid glands and having a broadly circular snout. The back is covered with different-sized warts and the venter is granular. There are three or four pairs of dark spots down the back, each accompanied by one large wart. Eyes are prominent. The arms and legs are tubular and warty. They are generally olive in color, with a brown crest (Wright and Wright 1949).

Males are roughly 54-85 mm in length. The back, sides and tympana are a dull citrine color with olive-citrine or yellow olive color on their hind legs and forelegs. The pectoral region is covered with scattered black spots, and these spots occur over the entire venter except for the throat and the center of the posterior venter. There is some apricot-yellow color across the arm insertion. The pupil is rimmed with citron yellow (Wright and Wright 1949).

Females are roughly 56-110 mm in length. The back is a light brownish or buffy olive. The bigger warts are on the back, and the warts are in the centers of buffy brown colored spots. There is a stripe down the middle of the back, of a deep-olive buff color, yellow, or vinaceous-fawn, that leads from parotoid to groin. In the center of the breast, there is a dark spot (Wright and Wright 1949).

  • Wright, A. H. and Wright, A. A. (1949). Handbook of Frogs and Toads of the United States and Canada. Comstock Publishing Company, Inc., Ithaca, New York.
  • Cook, F. R. (1984). Introduction to Canadian Amphibians and Reptiles. National Museums of Canada, Ottawa, Canada.
  • Johnson, T. R. (1987). The Amphibians and Reptiles of Missouri. Missouri Department of Conservation, Jefferson City.
  • Oliver, J. A. (1955). The Natural History of North American Amphibians and Reptiles. D. Van Nostrand Campany, Ltd., Canada.
  • Schmidt, K. P. (1953). A Checklist of North American Amphibians and Reptiles. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois.
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Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) Range extends from Labrador, Hudson Bay area, and central Manitoba south to northern Texas, Louisiana, central Alabama, northern Georgia, and North Carolina. Absent from most of Coastal Plain.

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Range Description

This species is found in North America from Labrador, Hudson Bay area, and Manitoba to northern Texas, Louisiana, central Alabama, northern Georgia, and North Carolina (Conant and Collins 1991). It is absent from most of the Coastal Plain.
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Geographic Range

American toads, Bufo_americanus, are only native to the Nearctic region. They are found throughout large portions of North America. They are generally not present in the most southern states. These toads have an immense ability to adapt to their surroundings as long as there is a source of semi-permanent water for them to use in the breeding season. This quality has allowed them to successfully colonize suburban and agricultural areas.

Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Native )

  • Dickerson, M. 1906. The Frog. NY: Doubleday, Page and Company.
  • Oliver, J. 1955. The National History of North American Amphibians and Reptiles. Princeton: D. Van Nostrand Company. Inc..
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Distribution and Habitat

Anaxyrus americanus can be found in Eastern North American, from the maritime provinces of Quebec and Ontario in Canada to Minnesota. Its range spans from the northern borders of the Gulf States, excluding Louisiana, and Texas. They can also be found in Arkansas, eastern Oaklahoma, and eastern Kansas (Schmidt 1953). Within Canada, A. americanus can be found in Ungava, James Bay, and sometimes the coast of Hudson Bay. It also occurs from Prince Edward Island to East Manitoba, and has been introduced to parts of Newfoundland (Cook 1984).

During the periods where the toads are not reproducing, they live in within an area of approximately 100' x 100'. However, during the breeding period, they may move several thousand feet away.

  • Wright, A. H. and Wright, A. A. (1949). Handbook of Frogs and Toads of the United States and Canada. Comstock Publishing Company, Inc., Ithaca, New York.
  • Cook, F. R. (1984). Introduction to Canadian Amphibians and Reptiles. National Museums of Canada, Ottawa, Canada.
  • Johnson, T. R. (1987). The Amphibians and Reptiles of Missouri. Missouri Department of Conservation, Jefferson City.
  • Oliver, J. A. (1955). The Natural History of North American Amphibians and Reptiles. D. Van Nostrand Campany, Ltd., Canada.
  • Schmidt, K. P. (1953). A Checklist of North American Amphibians and Reptiles. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

American toads have short legs, stout bodies, and thick skins with noticeable warts. These warts can be colored red and yellow. The warty skin contains many glands that produce a poisonous milky fluid, providing these toads with excellent protection from many of their predators. This poison is only harmful if it is swallowed or if it gets in the eyes, but it can make many animals very sick.

The skin color of American toads is normally a shade of brown, but it can also be red with light patches, olive, or gray. The bellies are a white or yellow color. Toad skin color changes depending on temperature, humidity, and stress. The color change ranges from yellow to brown to black. American toads have four toes on each front leg and five toes connected together by a webbing on each hind leg. The pupils of American toads are oval and black with a circle of gold around them. The sexes can be distinguished in two ways. Males have dark colored throats, of black or brown, while females have white throats and are lighter overall. Also, female American toads are larger than male American toads. American toads are between 50 and 100 mm in length but are usually around 75 mm. American toads can be distinguished from other species of toads by the presence of several dark spots on their backs which contain only one or two warts each. These black spots are sometimes circled with white or yellow. Some types of American toads have a prominent ridge on the top of their heads.

The eggs of American toads are black on top and white on the bottom (countershaded), and embedded in long strings of clear sticky gel. The larvae that hatch from eggs are called "tadpoles." They are dark (almost black) with smooth skin, round bodies, and a somewhat rounded tail. Like adult toads, larvae have defensive chemicals in their skin. They grow to over a centimeter in length before transforming. Newly-metamorphosed toadlets are usually 0.8 and 1.3 cm long when they first emerge. Their coloration is similar to that of adult toads.

Range length: 50 to 102 mm.

Average length: 75 mm.

Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; heterothermic ; bilateral symmetry ; poisonous

Sexual Dimorphism: female larger; sexes colored or patterned differently

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Size

Length: 11 cm

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Type Information

Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 5388
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Locality: Hudson Bay, East, Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35971
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35970
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35969
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35968
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35952
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35951
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35950
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35949
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35948
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35947
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35946
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35945
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35944
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35942
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35943
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35941
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35940
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35939
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35938
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35937
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35936
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35935
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35934
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35933
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35932
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35931
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35930
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35929
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35928
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35927
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35926
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35964
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35963
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35962
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35961
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35960
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35959
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35958
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35957
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35956
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35955
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35954
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35953
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35967
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35966
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Syntype for Anaxyrus americanus
Catalog Number: USNM 35965
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ontario - Quebec, Canada, North America
  • Syntype: Yarrow, H. C. & Henshaw, H. W. 1878. Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States west of the 100th Meridian. 207.
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Ecology

Habitat

Comments: American toads live on land except during the brief breeding season. They live in a wide variety of habitats, ranging from forests to prairies, wherever there is sufficient moisture, food, and a suitable breeding site. They emerge from winter dormancy on land and migrate up to several hundred meters to breeding sites. Breeding occurs in shallows of slow- or nonflowing bodies of water, including both permanent and temporary pools, generally in sites with few if any fishes (e.g., Holomuzki 1995). In northern Minnesota, successful reproduction in acidic bog water either does not occur or is a rare event (Karns 1992).

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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It inhabits a wide variety of habitats, ranging from forests to prairies, wherever there is sufficient moisture and food. It hides under objects or burrows underground when inactive. In New York, distribution is apparently influenced by soil pH (Wyman 1988). It breeds in nearly any slow or standing body of water, including both permanent and temporary pools, generally in sites with few if any fishes (e.g., Holomuzki 1995). Eggs are laid and larvae develop in shallow areas. Embryo survival declines greatly at pH below 4.5 (J. Herpetol. 26:70). In northern Minnesota, successful reproduction in acidic bog water either does not occur or is a rare event (Karns 1992).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
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American toads require a semi-permanent freshwater pond or pool for their early development. They also require dense patches of vegetation, for cover and hunting grounds. Given these two things and a supply of insects for food, American toads can live almost everywhere, ranging from forests to backyards. They are common in gardens and agricultural fields. During daylight hours they seek cover beneath porches, under boardwalks, flat stones, boards, logs, wood piles, or other cover. When cold weather comes, these toads dig backwards into their summer homes or may choose another site in which to hibernate.

Habitat Regions: temperate ; terrestrial ; freshwater

Terrestrial Biomes: chaparral ; forest ; rainforest ; scrub forest ; mountains

Aquatic Biomes: lakes and ponds; rivers and streams

Wetlands: marsh ; swamp ; bog

Other Habitat Features: urban ; suburban ; agricultural ; riparian

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Migration

Non-Migrant: No. All populations of this species make significant seasonal migrations.

Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

Adults migrate up to several hundred meters between breeding pools and nonbreeding terrestrial habitats.

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Trophic Strategy

Comments: Larvae eat suspended matter, organic debris, algae, and plant tissue. Metamorphosed toads eat various small terrestrial invertebrates.

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Food Habits

Adult American toads are carnivores, but toad tadpoles are considered herbivores, because they graze on aquatic vegetation (algae).

Adult American toads are generalists. They eat a wide variety of Insecta and other invertebrates, including Stylommatophora, Coleoptera, Stylommatophora, and Oligochaeta. Unlike most toads, who wait for prey to come along and pounce on it, American toads can shoot out their sticky tongues to catch prey. They also may use their front legs in order to eat larger food. They grasp their food and push it into their mouths. One American toad can eat up to 1,000 insects every day.

Toads do not drink water but soak it in, absorbing moisture through their skin.

Animal Foods: insects; terrestrial non-insect arthropods; terrestrial worms

Plant Foods: algae

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Associations

Ecosystem Roles

American toads are responsible for controlling the populations of many kinds of insects. The number of insects they eat makes them a crucial part of controlling these populations.

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Predation

The main predators of American toads are Serpentes. One species, Heterodon platirhinos, specializes on eating toads. Some snakes, such as Thamnophis, are immune to the poisonous glands of American toads. When these toads are faced with a predator that is immune to their poison they will sometimes urinate on themselves to become a less attractive meal. They also inflate their bodies with air to make themselves more difficult for a snake to swallow.

Female toads prefer to lay their eggs in ponds without fish. The eggs they lay are countershaded: lighter on the bottom and darker on the top to blend in with the background when viewed from above or below.

Tadpoles avoid predators by swimming in very shallow water, and by swimming close together in schools during the day. They also have toxic chemicals in their skin that discourage some potential predators. Metamorphosed toads are cryptically colored, and are actively mainly at night, making it harder for predators to find them.

Known Predators:

  • diving beetles (Dytiscidae)
  • predaceous diving bugs (Belostomatidae)
  • garter snakes (Thamnophis)
  • hognose snakes (Heterodon)
  • hawks (Accipitridae)
  • herons (Ardeidae)
  • raccoons (Procyon_lotor)

Anti-predator Adaptations: cryptic

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Known predators

Bufo americanus is prey of:
Belostomatidae
Dytiscidae
Ardeidae
Accipitridae
Thamnophis
Heterodon
Procyon lotor

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
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Known prey organisms

Bufo americanus preys on:
non-insect arthropods
Annelida
Arthropoda
Insecta

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
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Population Biology

Global Abundance

>1,000,000 individuals

Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but likely exceeds, 1,000,000.

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General Ecology

Larvae are palatable to LEPOMIS fishes (Holomuzki 1995).

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Communication and Perception

American toads have one of the most notable calls of all toads. They give off long trill sounds that each last between 4 and 20 seconds. American toads use this call as a way to attract females for breeding. Their calls become frantic, loud, and constant during mating season. Many young males continue to call late into the summer. When they call, their throats puff out like large, inflatable balloons.

American toads also use body postures, touch, and chemical cues for communicating.

Communication Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical

Other Communication Modes: choruses

Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical

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Cyclicity

Comments: Hibernates in coldest winter months; may estivate during hot dry months of summer. Most active at night but also active diurnally when breeding and at other times in shady habitats.

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Life Cycle

Development

Female American toads lay their eggs in freshwater. Hatching occurs 3 to 12 days after laying, depending on the temperature of the water. The tadpoles group together and feed and grow for 40 to 70 days.

When the tadpoles hatch they have gills located on the sides of their heads just posterior to their mouths. During the first 20 days the tadpoles start to form their hind legs. The legs grow slowly, but continuously. After 30 to 40 days the front legs, which were previously covered by a layer of skin, appear. At the same time that the front legs emerge, the tadpoles' gills disappear, and the tadpoles start to breathe "atmospheric" air. Between the last two or three days of development, they complete their metamorphosis, resorbing their tails and strengthening their legs. They also stop eating plants in favor of animal matter.

Newly-metamorphosed toads stay near their pond for a few days (or longer if the climate is dry), and then disperse and begin to live primarily on land. American toads continue to grow until they reach their full adult size of approximately 75 mm.

American toads, while still growing, shed their external skin every couple of weeks or so. Older frogs lose their skin around four times yearly. The skin peels off in one piece, and is collected under its tongue, where it is then gulped down.

Development - Life Cycle: metamorphosis

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Life Expectancy

Lifespan/Longevity

In the wild most American toads probably don't survive more than a year or two. The majority die before transforming from tadpoles into toadlets. However, they are capable of living much longer. Some toads have lived longer than 10 years in the wild. There is a documented account of a captive toad that lived to the ripe old age of 36 and was killed by mistake.

Range lifespan

Status: wild:
0 to 10 years.

Average lifespan

Status: wild:
< 1 years.

Range lifespan

Status: captivity:
0 to 36 years.

  • Harding, J. 1997. Amphibians and Reptiles of the Great Lakes Region. Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA: The University of Michigan Press.
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Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 36 years (captivity) Observations: In the wild, these animals do not commonly live more than one year and the maximum reported lifespan in the wild is 10 years. One captive individual lived to the age of 36 before it was killed by accident.
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Reproduction

Breeding occurs in spring (or winter in the south). Hundreds of adults may aggregate for breeding. Aquatic larvae hatch in about a week or less, metamorphose in about 2 months, in spring or summer (often June or July, but as early as mid-May in some areas). Larvae metamorphose into tiny toadlets within a couple months. Individuals become sexually mature in 2-3 years. Hundreds may aggregate for breeding.

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Breeding occurs in the months of March or April, but may extend into July. It usually triggered by warming temperatures and longer days. The males always arrive on the mating grounds well ahead of females. They congregate in shallow wetlands, ponds, lakes and slow-moving streams. After finding a suitable area, the male toads establish territories and begin calling the females. Females may choose their mates by assessing the males' breeding calls as well as the quality of the defended breeding territory.

Mating System: polygynous ; polygynandrous (promiscuous)

After mating takes place, the females lay their eggs in the water, in long spiral tubes of jelly. They lay 4000 to 8000 eggs in two rows. When each row of eggs is stretched it generally measures between between six and twenty meters long (20 to 66 ft.). Each individual egg is 1.5 mm in diameter. The eggs mature fastest at higher temperatures. They generally hatch in 3 to 12 days. After developing for 40 to 70 days, the tadpoles transform into adults. This usually takes place from June to August, depending on location. They reach sexual maturity at around 2 to 3 years of age.

Breeding interval: American toads breed from once yearly.

Breeding season: American toads breed from March to July each year, depending on location.

Range number of offspring: 4000 to 8000.

Range time to hatching: 2 to 14 days.

Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 2 to 3 years.

Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 2 to 3 years.

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; fertilization (External ); oviparous

Female toads provide nutrients for their eggs inside their bodies. Once the eggs are laid and fertilized, the parents ignore them.

Parental Investment: pre-fertilization (Provisioning, Protecting: Female)

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Bufo americanus

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 27 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.  Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.  See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNTGGTTCCCTTCTTGGTGATGATCAAATTTATAATGTTATCGTCACTGCCCATGCTTTTGTTATAATTTTCTTTATAGTAATACCCATTTTAATCGGGGGCTTTGGAAACTGATTAGTACCACTAATAATTGGAGCCCCTGATATAGCCTTCCCTCGAATGAACAACATAAGCTTCTGATTACTTCCGCCCTCATTCCTCCTTCTTCTGGCTTCGGCCGGAGTGGAGGCAGGGGCCGGCACTGGCTGAACAGTTTACCCCCCTCTTGCCGGAAATCTTGCCCACGCAGGACCATCAGTTGACTTAACCATTTTTTCCCTCCATCTAGCAGGTGTTTCATCTATTCTTGGGGCAATTAATTTTATTACCACAACCCTAAACATGAAACCCCCATCAATGACTCAATATCAAACTCCTTTATTTGTCTGATCAGTTCTAATTACCGCTGTTCTTCTTCTATTATCCTTACCTGTCCTTGCAGCAGGCATCACTATACTTCTAACCGACCGAAACCTAAATACAACATTTTTTGACCCCGCCGGTGGAGGTGATCCTATTTTATACCAACACCTATTCA
-- end --

Download FASTA File
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Bufo americanus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 26
Specimens with Barcodes: 64
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Reasons: Large range in eastern North America; large area of occupancy; high abundance; many stable populations; no major threats.

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable

Environmental Specificity: Moderate to broad.

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IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2004

Assessor/s
Geoffrey Hammerson

Reviewer/s
Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson, Neil Cox and Bruce Young)

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a broad range of habitats, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.
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American toads have no special conservation status, as they are still common in most of their range. Some populations have declined in recent years, possibly due to pollution.

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: no special status

US Migratory Bird Act: no special status

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

State of Michigan List: no special status

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Global Short Term Trend: Relatively stable (=10% change)

Comments: Stable overall, with localized declines.

Global Long Term Trend: Increase of 10-25% to decline of 30%

Comments: Likely relatively stable in extent of occurrence, probably less than 25% decline in population size, area of occurrence, and number/condition of occurrences.

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Population

Population
This species is widespread and abundant. It is stable overall, with localized declines.

Population Trend
Stable
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Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors

Anaxyrus americanus lays its eggs between the months of April to July (Oliver 1955). The peak of the breeding season is usually late April (Wright and Wright 1949). Breeding sites are usually small ditches, small ponds, or slow, shallow streams (Johnson 1987). The male grasps the female behind her front legs, and she will begin laying her eggs (Johnson 1987).

Clutch size is usually 4,000-8,000 eggs, in a single string. The eggs will incubate for about 3-12 days before hatching. The tadpoles are dark, almost black. After the young toads metamorphose, they will migrate in mass numbers away from the water (Wright and Wright 1949).

  • Wright, A. H. and Wright, A. A. (1949). Handbook of Frogs and Toads of the United States and Canada. Comstock Publishing Company, Inc., Ithaca, New York.
  • Cook, F. R. (1984). Introduction to Canadian Amphibians and Reptiles. National Museums of Canada, Ottawa, Canada.
  • Johnson, T. R. (1987). The Amphibians and Reptiles of Missouri. Missouri Department of Conservation, Jefferson City.
  • Oliver, J. A. (1955). The Natural History of North American Amphibians and Reptiles. D. Van Nostrand Campany, Ltd., Canada.
  • Schmidt, K. P. (1953). A Checklist of North American Amphibians and Reptiles. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois.
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Threats

Degree of Threat: Low

Comments: No major threats. Dispersing juveniles tend to avoid open canopy habitat, so deforestation and fragmentation likely reduce dispersal rates between local populations and could negatively impact population persistence in altered landscapes (Rothermal and Semlitsch 2002).

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Major Threats
There are no major threats.
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Management

Global Protection: Very many (>40) occurrences appropriately protected and managed

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Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
No conservation measures are needed.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

There are no negative impacts of American toads on humans.

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Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

American toads eat many species of pest insects and other invertebrates. They are widely considered friends to gardeners and farmers. The toxins produced by their skin may eventually prove useful in medical research.

Positive Impacts: research and education; controls pest population

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Wikipedia

Hudson Bay toad

The Hudson Bay toad (Anaxyrus americanus copei) is a rare subspecies of the American toad.[1] As suggested by its name, it is found in the Hudson Bay region of Canada.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "American toad". amphibians.ca. Retrieved 17 August 2013. 


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American toad

The American toad (Anaxyrus americanus) is a common species of toad found throughout the eastern United States and Canada. It is divided into three subspecies—the eastern American toad (A. a. americanus), the dwarf American toad (A. a. charlesmithi), and the rare Hudson Bay toad (A. a. copei). A new taxonomy places this species in the genus Anaxyrus instead of Bufo.[2][3]

Tadpoles[edit]

The eggs of the American toad are laid in two strings and can hatch in 2-14 days. When hatched the tadpoles are recognizable by their skinny tails in relation to the size of their black bodies. They may advance to adulthood in 50-65 days. When metamorphosis is completed, the "toadlets" may stay in the water for a short period of time before they become mostly land based. Studies have shown that they have a mutualistic relationship with Chlorogonium alga, which makes tadpoles develop faster than normal.[citation needed]

Tadpoles have several mechanisms to reduce predation .[4] They avoid predators by swimming in very shallow water, and by swimming close together in schools during the day. Tadpoles also produce toxic chemicals in their skin that discourage some potential predators. Fish have been reported to die after consuming one tadpole; however, most fish quickly learn to avoid eating American toad tadpoles. The tadpoles are also very small and they are a solid black color.[5]

Biogeography[edit]

Based on DNA sequence comparisons, Anaxyrus americanus and other North American species of Anaxyrus are thought to be descended from an invasion of toads from South America prior to the formation of the Isthmus of Panama land bridge, presumably by means of rafting.[6]

Subspecies[edit]

Races tend to hybridize with Anaxyrus woodhousii in their overlapping ranges.

Eastern American toad[edit]

Eastern American Toad in Ohio.
Detail of parotoid glands

The eastern American toad (A. a. americanus) is a medium-sized toad usually ranging in size from 5–9 cm (2.0–3.5 in);[7] record 11.1 centimetres (4.4 in).[8] The color and pattern is somewhat variable. Skin color can change depending on humidity, stress, and temperature. Color changes range from yellow to brown to black. Their breeding habits are very similar to Anaxyrus fowleri. The call or voice of a breeding male is a high trill, lasting 6-30 seconds,[8] similar to a ringing telephone. They hibernate during the winter. The eastern American toad has spots that contain only one to two warts. It also has enlarged warts on the tibia or lower leg below the knee. While the belly is usually spotted, it is generally more so on the forward half (in some rare individuals there may be few or no spots). This subspecies of the American toad has no or very little markings on it. The spades on the back legs are blackish. Some toads of this subspecies have red warts on their bodies. Also eastern American toads have parotoid glands that are the same color as the surrounding skin. The glands don't have any patterning on them.

Other species which may be confused with the eastern American toad are Fowler's toad, which has three or more warts in the largest dark spots, and in the far west of its range woodhouse's toad. Fowler's toad can be especially difficult to identify in comparison to the eastern American toad but one difference is that it never has a spotted belly and both cranial crests touch the parotoid glands. In the eastern American toad these crests almost never touch the parotoid glands, which secrete bufotoxin, a poisonous substance. The poison the toad excretes is mild in comparison to other poisonous toads and frogs, but it can irritate human skin[9] and is dangerous to smaller animals (such as dogs) when ingested.

American toads require a semi-permanent freshwater pond or pool with shallow water in which to breed[8] and for their early development. They also require dense patches of vegetation, for cover and hunting grounds. Given these two things and a supply of insects for food, American toads can live almost everywhere, ranging from forests to flat grassland. Adult toads are mostly nocturnal, although juveniles are often abroad by day. These toads commonly seek cover in burrows, under boardwalks, flat stones, boards, logs, wood piles, or other cover. When cold weather comes, these toads dig backwards and bury themselves in the dirt of their summer homes, or they may choose another site in which to hibernate.[5] Their diet includes crickets, mealworms, earthworms, ants, spiders, slugs, centipedes, moths, and other small invertebrates.

The eastern American toad may be confused with the Canadian toad in the area where they overlap, but the cranial crests in the American toad do not join to form a raised "boss" (bump) like they do in the Canadian toad. Its range also overlaps with the southern toad's, but in this species the cranial crests form two unique knobs.

Dwarf American toad[edit]

The dwarf American toad (B. a. charlesmithi), is a smaller version of the American toad which reaches lengths of about 6 cm (2½ inches) and is generally a dark reddish color ranging to light red in some specimens in isolated populations. The spots on the back are reduced or absent, and when present they contain a few small red warts and a black ring around it like in the normal American toad. The warts are always darker than the skin of the toad. Some specimens have a white dorsal line in the middle of their backs. The ventral surface or belly is usually cream colored with a few dark spots in the breast area. This subspecies can be distinguished from the above mentioned species in the same manner as for the eastern American toad. The southwestern portion of the Dwarf American toad's range overlaps with that of the Gulf Coast toad. The latter species is distinguished by the presence of a dark lateral stripe as well as a deep "valley" between its prominent cranial crests. It eats mainly spiders, worms and small insects. This subspecies of the American toad has been seen in the northern parts of Ontario were there are a few isolated populations. Interbreeding with the normal and eastern American toads caused this subspecies to lose the red coloring on their backs. These northern dwarf toads mostly have the red coloring on the sides of their bodies and have an unusually high number of warts for the subspecies.

Hudson Bay toad[edit]

The Hudson Bay toad (A. a. copei) is a rare Canadian subspecies of A. americanus.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Geoffrey Hammerson (2004). "Anaxyrus americanus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 18 December 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Frost, D. R.; Grant, T.; Faivovich, J. N.; Bain, R. H.; Haas, A.; Haddad, C. L. F. B.; De Sá, R. O.; Channing, A.; Wilkinson, M.; Donnellan, S. C.; Raxworthy, C. J.; Campbell, J. A.; Blotto, B. L.; Moler, P.; Drewes, R. C.; Nussbaum, R. A.; Lynch, J. D.; Green, D. M.; Wheeler, W. C. (2006). "The Amphibian Tree of Life". Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 297: 1–291. doi:10.1206/0003-0090(2006)297[0001:TATOL]2.0.CO;2. hdl:2246/5781.  edit
  3. ^ Review: The Amphibian Tree of Life, by Frost, D.R. et al., Amphibiatree
  4. ^ "ADW: Bufo americanus: Information". Animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu. Retrieved 2011-04-01. 
  5. ^ a b "University of Notre Dame: Yellow perch predation on tadpoles" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-04-01. 
  6. ^ Pauly, G. B; Hillis, D. M.; Cannatella, D. C. (November 2004). "The history of a Nearctic colonization: Molecular phylogenetics and biogeography of the Nearctic toads (Bufo)". Evolution 58 (11): 2517–2535. doi:10.1111/j.0014-3820.2004.tb00881.x. Retrieved 2011-12-18. 
  7. ^ American toad (Bufo americanus), Natural Resources Canada
  8. ^ a b c Conant, Roger (1975). A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0-395-19979-4. 
  9. ^ American toad, FrogWatch
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Hybridizes with B. fowleri in several areas (Green 1984, Green and Parent 2003). Hybridizes also with B. hemiophrys in southeastern Manitoba and north-central U.S. (Green 1983, Green and Pustowka 1997). Sanders (1987) regarded populations in the James Bay region, Canada, as a distinct species, B. copei; other authors have treated copei as a subspecies of B. americanus or as unworthy of any taxonomic recognition.

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